Programming develops through community collaboration

November 3, 2023

You may wonder how the community influences what shows and artists perform at your Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. By going out into the community and attending various networking events, the Fox Cities P.A.C.’s Chief Programming Officer, Amy Gosz, is able to have meaningful conversations with people about what they want to see and experience at the Center. “They’re ultimately the people who are coming to performances, and they want to see themselves on stage; they want to see what they enjoy,” Amy commented. “We also strive to provide opportunities for people to expand their horizons and gain new understandings and insights through their arts experience. It’s really about that collaboration and dialogue with community members and partners to understand what they want to see and experience at their Fox Cities P.A.C.” These conversations inform programming decisions for the Boldt Arts Alive! Series, Spotlight Series, Amcor Education Series and the newly launched Viewpoint Speaker Series.

Connecting performances to a central idea enhances patron experience by offering new perspectives and encouraging deeper conversation outside of the performances. This is achieved through the Center’s curatorial vison which sets the tone for each season and becomes a driving force in determining the programming and opportunities to create connections through the community engagement activities. Community members take a journey through live performing arts experiences tailored for them.

The curatorial vision is often decided by what is currently happening in the community, as well as the previous season’s vision. The 2022-23 curatorial vision of community celebrated the Center’s 20th Anniversary Season. “We wanted to recognize the people, places and events that define our community, shining a spotlight on those who’ve supported the Fox Cities P.A.C. for the past 20 years,” Amy shared. “That led us into the complimentary vision this year of identity, focusing on digging deeper and considering how we express ourselves.” Amy further added that this helped her find artists that are exemplary at expressing themselves, using Step Afrika!’s performance on October 3 as a perfect example.

Identity can be defined in many ways: how you express or think about yourself, your relationships, cultural backgrounds…it shapes us and influences how we move through our days.
Amy Gosz – Fox Cities P.A.C. Chief Programming Officer

Audiences will experience cultural storytelling through music with San Jose Taiko and Mariachi Herencia de México and more. For something more intimate, patrons may attend the spoken word performance, Makin’ Cake with Dasha Kelly Hamilton, and the stage magic performance, The Magic of Kevin Spencer, to experience connection through compelling storytelling. “We want the programming to be of interest to a broad audience, ensuring that we are a performing arts center for everyone,” Amy shared.

Many people express their culture through art, music and dance. Art has a way of connecting to who we are.
Amy Gosz – Fox Cities P.A.C. Chief Programming Officer

By partnering with various businesses and organizations in the community on specific shows, a variety of outreach and educational engagement opportunities are created. “Having those dialogues in the community about bringing in certain performers lead to conversations about how we can work together with individuals and partners to make the most of and enhance the experience,” Amy remarked. “It’s more than just a performance; it’s about creating deeper connections though interactive workshops, pre- and post-show discussions, and more.”

Learning new things helps people step out of their own bubbles and experience the world in a new way. Watching a live performance is an excellent way to engage with various communities while connecting with new cultures, art forms and perspectives.
Amy Gosz – Fox Cities P.A.C. Chief Programming Officer

Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center